Jerk Seasoning

published May 2, 2022
Jerk Seasoning Recipe

A flavorful blend of dried spices and aromatics are combined to replicate the flavors of Jamaica's most famous marinade—jerk.

Makes1/2 cup

Prep5 minutes

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jerk seasoning on a spoon
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Micah Morton

Jerk chicken is one of my favorite dishes to eat, and it’s something that I love to make at home on a regular basis. But the traditional Jamaican jerk marinade, which involves fresh ingredients like scotch bonnet peppers, scallions, and ginger, can be labor- and ingredient-intensive for a weeknight. That’s why I love to use jerk seasoning.

Consider this jerk seasoning my shortcut to imparting a spicy mixture of fragrant, warm spices and aromatics to any dish. It’s quick and easy to use as a dry rub or to turn into a marinade. The options are endless, and I guarantee that it’s nearly impossible to make a dull dish using it.

What Is Jerk Seasoning Made Of? 

Jerk seasoning is a blend of garlic powder or granules, onion powder, dried thyme, ground allspice, ground ginger, cayenne pepper, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, smoked paprika, ground cloves, ground white pepper, and dark brown sugar.

Is Jerk Seasoning Spicy? 

Yes! Traditional jerk marinade includes scotch bonnet peppers, which are very spicy, and this recipe uses cayenne pepper to replicate the heat of the scotch bonnet peppers. This seasoning blend is definitely not as hot as a typical jerk marinade, but feel free to adjust the amount of cayenne to your taste.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Micah Morton

What’s the Best Way to Use Jerk Seasoning?

This seasoning is perfect for seasoning proteins like chicken or pork, but the sky is really the limit. Add it to stews and soups, liven up a pot of rice or your morning scrambled eggs. Add a dash to guacamole or mix a bit up with some mayo for a spicy sandwich spread.

Jerk Seasoning Recipe

A flavorful blend of dried spices and aromatics are combined to replicate the flavors of Jamaica's most famous marinade—jerk.

Prep time 5 minutes

Makes 1/2 cup

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons

    packed dark brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon

    garlic powder or garlic granules

  • 1 tablespoon

    ground ginger

  • 1 tablespoon

    onion powder

  • 2 teaspoons

    dried thyme

  • 2 teaspoons

    ground allspice

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    cayenne pepper

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground white pepper

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon

    smoked paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground cloves

Instructions

  1. Place 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon ground ginger, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 2 teaspoons dried thyme, 2 teaspoons ground allspice, 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground white pepper, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Use to season meat, fish, vegetables, or beans.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The seasoning can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a year.